County news September 3, 2014

Thakor begins Leicestershire exodus

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Leicestershire are braced for an exodus of players after confirmation that Shiv Thakor, their former England U-19 captain and one of the most promising young allrounders in the country, has turned down the offer of a new contract and instead joined Derbyshire.

Nathan Buck, the fast bowler, is another potential departee, with Lancashire increasingly confident of securing his signature.

With the potential that more players could follow, it represents further troubles for Leicestershire, who despite being competitive throughout much of the summer have not won a Championship match since the final match of the 2012 season and who remain rooted to the bottom of the Division Two table.

Derbyshire will be delighted to have seen off interest from a clutch of other counties. Thakor's first-class average of 39 in 24 first-class matches is a promising start to his career and he has also taken useful wickets with his medium pace.

"Shiv is a talented young player whose ambition to compete at the highest level matches our desire to produce England cricketers," Derbyshire elite performance director, Graeme Welch said. "He is a versatile player who can contribute with both bat and ball across all three formats. He has shown for Leicestershire that he is a top player with England potential. The sky is the limit for the lad."

Thakor added: "It's been a tough decision to leave the county that has given me my start in professional cricket, but I feel it's time to take the next step forward. "I had several options on the table but, having met with Graeme Welch and the management team, it was an easy decision to join a progressive club like Derbyshire.

"The way he talked with passion about the club, its plans for the future and the role he sees me playing was too good an opportunity to turn down. I'm still at the beginning of my career, I have ambitions - both personal and as a member of a winning team - and I'm absolutely focused to achieve these things with Derbyshire. "

Thakor, born in Leicester, became the youngest Leicestershire player to score a first-class hundred when he made 134 on debut against Loughborough MCCU at 17. His progress was hampered last season by a hand injury which, controversially, was only operated upon at the end of the season.

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  • shillingsworth on September 4, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    @markatnotts - As usual, you make a good point. Notts have a legacy which the smaller counties don't have but it is still a well run club. I don't see why they should apologise for being able to recruit top players and, as you say, some like Gurney have developed well there. Sussex and Somerset have shown that it is still possible to compete at the top level on more limited resources. The others should be seeking to emulate them, not throwing up their hands in despair and blaming Notts.

  • shillingsworth on September 4, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Blaming coaches for everything seems a lazy way of thinking to me. It's not as if this trend is either new or unique to Leicestershire. If Thakor really has that much potential just waiting to be unlocked by good coaching, he would surely be attracting the interest of D1 sides. Instead he's gone to Derbyshire, the cricketing equivalent of a sideways move. Perhaps he's better than his stats suggest but that's down to him.

  • LeicesterNick on September 4, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Sad but true Tpearce. However, the set up keeps producing talent. Pretty much undefeated and a clean sweep potentially in the second team leagues. The fact that this isnt leading to much of an improvement in the first teams form needs addressing.

  • tpearce28 on September 3, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    Leics fan here. Gurney is an excellent example of where we're going wrong. He was signed by Notts 2 years after we'd released him and then re-signed him when we failed to attract anyone better. He was pretty ordinary for us, but then had a good 20/20 season, Notts signed him and now he plays for England. We rely on coaching to get the best out of players, given we're not going to sign seasoned professionals, but our set up is failing. The likes of Cobb and Buck should be on the fringes of the England side by now, not struggling to keep their place in our first XI. Thakor should play for England, but his career has stagnated, partly due to our mismanagement of his injury last year. We will almost certainly lose Eckersley and Cobb as well this year, but more worrying is that we will keep our first XI coaches. No Leicestershire fan will be surprised if we are reduced to minor county status within the next five years and then there's no way back. Good luck to Thakor, I wouldn't have stayed

  • LeicesterNick on September 3, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    We keep on producing great talent. The fact they leave isn't just down to England ambition. It's time for a change of leadership off the field at GR.

  • LancsTwins on September 3, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    NRC1979 I think you've really answered your own question. Chapple has had his least effective season for years and may well retire, Newby hasn't developed anywhere near to the player Lancs thought he might be 5 years ago, Kabir will never be fit enough to play more than half the games, White looks as mystifying a signing as he did two years ago - nowhere near good enough, and Jarvis has so far been an expensive disaster, unpickable. That's why Tom Bailey- not good enough at the moment either- has been playing in the absence of the injured Hogg. Tom Smith has carried the bowling. We need a lot more than Buck. And of course, the batting is the real problem.....

  • markatnotts on September 3, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @countjimmoriaty, absolute drivel anyone who follows county cricket will know Gurney has developed massively since moving. The bowling average proves it given he went up a division. To then contradict yourself and use Balance as player who came from Derbyshire is rubbish. Either admit Gurney and Balance have been developed by Notts and Leics respectively or neither have. With regards York's which is several times larger than any of the east Midland counties, if they are going to produce more of their own players.

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    forgottencricketers At 16 years old, through academy. Not exactly the same as Notts recruitment policy (by the way, I forgot about Mullaney!)

  • forgottencricketers on September 3, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @countjimmoriarty - completely agree that Yorkshire have a much better recent record of bringing through home-grown cricketers than Notts... but surely you shouldn't refer to Ballance as, ironically given the current story, he came to Yorkshire from Derbyshire?

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Mark at Notts: Lumb, Taylor, Broad, Shazad, Wessels, Adams, Keedy were? Notts are the worst for leeching on the development efforts of other counties. Gurney was brought through the system at Leics, Notts took him virtually fully formed. By contrast, 9 home grown players in Yorkshire side, with Root and Ballance to come back from England.

  • shillingsworth on September 4, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    @markatnotts - As usual, you make a good point. Notts have a legacy which the smaller counties don't have but it is still a well run club. I don't see why they should apologise for being able to recruit top players and, as you say, some like Gurney have developed well there. Sussex and Somerset have shown that it is still possible to compete at the top level on more limited resources. The others should be seeking to emulate them, not throwing up their hands in despair and blaming Notts.

  • shillingsworth on September 4, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Blaming coaches for everything seems a lazy way of thinking to me. It's not as if this trend is either new or unique to Leicestershire. If Thakor really has that much potential just waiting to be unlocked by good coaching, he would surely be attracting the interest of D1 sides. Instead he's gone to Derbyshire, the cricketing equivalent of a sideways move. Perhaps he's better than his stats suggest but that's down to him.

  • LeicesterNick on September 4, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Sad but true Tpearce. However, the set up keeps producing talent. Pretty much undefeated and a clean sweep potentially in the second team leagues. The fact that this isnt leading to much of an improvement in the first teams form needs addressing.

  • tpearce28 on September 3, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    Leics fan here. Gurney is an excellent example of where we're going wrong. He was signed by Notts 2 years after we'd released him and then re-signed him when we failed to attract anyone better. He was pretty ordinary for us, but then had a good 20/20 season, Notts signed him and now he plays for England. We rely on coaching to get the best out of players, given we're not going to sign seasoned professionals, but our set up is failing. The likes of Cobb and Buck should be on the fringes of the England side by now, not struggling to keep their place in our first XI. Thakor should play for England, but his career has stagnated, partly due to our mismanagement of his injury last year. We will almost certainly lose Eckersley and Cobb as well this year, but more worrying is that we will keep our first XI coaches. No Leicestershire fan will be surprised if we are reduced to minor county status within the next five years and then there's no way back. Good luck to Thakor, I wouldn't have stayed

  • LeicesterNick on September 3, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    We keep on producing great talent. The fact they leave isn't just down to England ambition. It's time for a change of leadership off the field at GR.

  • LancsTwins on September 3, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    NRC1979 I think you've really answered your own question. Chapple has had his least effective season for years and may well retire, Newby hasn't developed anywhere near to the player Lancs thought he might be 5 years ago, Kabir will never be fit enough to play more than half the games, White looks as mystifying a signing as he did two years ago - nowhere near good enough, and Jarvis has so far been an expensive disaster, unpickable. That's why Tom Bailey- not good enough at the moment either- has been playing in the absence of the injured Hogg. Tom Smith has carried the bowling. We need a lot more than Buck. And of course, the batting is the real problem.....

  • markatnotts on September 3, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @countjimmoriaty, absolute drivel anyone who follows county cricket will know Gurney has developed massively since moving. The bowling average proves it given he went up a division. To then contradict yourself and use Balance as player who came from Derbyshire is rubbish. Either admit Gurney and Balance have been developed by Notts and Leics respectively or neither have. With regards York's which is several times larger than any of the east Midland counties, if they are going to produce more of their own players.

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    forgottencricketers At 16 years old, through academy. Not exactly the same as Notts recruitment policy (by the way, I forgot about Mullaney!)

  • forgottencricketers on September 3, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @countjimmoriarty - completely agree that Yorkshire have a much better recent record of bringing through home-grown cricketers than Notts... but surely you shouldn't refer to Ballance as, ironically given the current story, he came to Yorkshire from Derbyshire?

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Mark at Notts: Lumb, Taylor, Broad, Shazad, Wessels, Adams, Keedy were? Notts are the worst for leeching on the development efforts of other counties. Gurney was brought through the system at Leics, Notts took him virtually fully formed. By contrast, 9 home grown players in Yorkshire side, with Root and Ballance to come back from England.

  • NRC1979 on September 3, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Why do Lancs need Buck? Are we expecting a clear out of seamers at the end of the season (Chapple, Newby, Kabir, White and even Jarvis - an international bowler with a good test record who can't get a game?) What about the youngsters coming through?

    I think Thakor leaving Leic was a given after the debacle of his surgery etc. That he has signed for Derbys and not Notts (or another 'big' club) is probably because he hasn't done anything of note in the last 2 seasons.

  • markatnotts on September 3, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    @countjimmoriarty,

    So Harry Gurney first class bowling average of c50 in DIV2 was "developed" fully by Leics yet he now has a first class bowling average of c32 having played more in DVI1. That says to me more about problems at Leics. So Patel, Ball, Fletcher, Hales, were not developed at all by Notts?

  • Daniel_Smith on September 3, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    It might be worth noting that what is happening at Derbyshire may well be a sustainable model for many smaller counties. They are turning a profit and they are playing competitive cricket.

  • MrFitz on September 3, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Division 2 champions 2012...Royal London Quarter Finalists 2014 ...It's not all bad at Derbyshire!! Also the Chairman and Coaching staff have a Vision of how to move forward both on and off the field.

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Doesn't appear much of a step forward to join another division 2 team. He should knock on the door at Trent Bridge - I'm sure Notts would take him. He's their kind, a player developed by another county they can take without the expense of doing it themselves.

  • ian2208 on September 3, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Wow, that's really bad news. When your players start leaving for Derby you have to suggest that something is truly wrong.

  • siltbreeze on September 3, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Leicestershire have produced so much good young talent over the last decade or so (Broad, Taylor, Gurney etc), yet the club itself continues to spiral downwards. It's understandable when the big boys like Notts come calling, but can Derby, with their limited squad and resources, really offer Thakor much more than Leicester. Are there any Leicester fans on here who can illuminate us further?

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  • siltbreeze on September 3, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Leicestershire have produced so much good young talent over the last decade or so (Broad, Taylor, Gurney etc), yet the club itself continues to spiral downwards. It's understandable when the big boys like Notts come calling, but can Derby, with their limited squad and resources, really offer Thakor much more than Leicester. Are there any Leicester fans on here who can illuminate us further?

  • ian2208 on September 3, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Wow, that's really bad news. When your players start leaving for Derby you have to suggest that something is truly wrong.

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    Doesn't appear much of a step forward to join another division 2 team. He should knock on the door at Trent Bridge - I'm sure Notts would take him. He's their kind, a player developed by another county they can take without the expense of doing it themselves.

  • MrFitz on September 3, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Division 2 champions 2012...Royal London Quarter Finalists 2014 ...It's not all bad at Derbyshire!! Also the Chairman and Coaching staff have a Vision of how to move forward both on and off the field.

  • Daniel_Smith on September 3, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    It might be worth noting that what is happening at Derbyshire may well be a sustainable model for many smaller counties. They are turning a profit and they are playing competitive cricket.

  • markatnotts on September 3, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    @countjimmoriarty,

    So Harry Gurney first class bowling average of c50 in DIV2 was "developed" fully by Leics yet he now has a first class bowling average of c32 having played more in DVI1. That says to me more about problems at Leics. So Patel, Ball, Fletcher, Hales, were not developed at all by Notts?

  • NRC1979 on September 3, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Why do Lancs need Buck? Are we expecting a clear out of seamers at the end of the season (Chapple, Newby, Kabir, White and even Jarvis - an international bowler with a good test record who can't get a game?) What about the youngsters coming through?

    I think Thakor leaving Leic was a given after the debacle of his surgery etc. That he has signed for Derbys and not Notts (or another 'big' club) is probably because he hasn't done anything of note in the last 2 seasons.

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Mark at Notts: Lumb, Taylor, Broad, Shazad, Wessels, Adams, Keedy were? Notts are the worst for leeching on the development efforts of other counties. Gurney was brought through the system at Leics, Notts took him virtually fully formed. By contrast, 9 home grown players in Yorkshire side, with Root and Ballance to come back from England.

  • forgottencricketers on September 3, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @countjimmoriarty - completely agree that Yorkshire have a much better recent record of bringing through home-grown cricketers than Notts... but surely you shouldn't refer to Ballance as, ironically given the current story, he came to Yorkshire from Derbyshire?

  • countjimmoriarty on September 3, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    forgottencricketers At 16 years old, through academy. Not exactly the same as Notts recruitment policy (by the way, I forgot about Mullaney!)